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main imageThe U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has extended the deadline for Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) filings for individuals with signature authority over, but not financial interest in, foreign financial accounts. In 2012, the deadline was extended to June of this year; the latest extension moves it to June 30, 2015.

FinCEN has yet to decide which prior reporting periods these individuals will have to report on by June 30 of next year. Analysis of FBAR-related notices indicates that individuals might have to file reports stretching as far back as 2009. According to FinCEN, “This matter is under consideration.”

FBAR applies to “foreign financial accounts,” which by FinCEN definition include not only bank accounts, but also securities accounts, insurance or annuity policies with a cash value, and mutual funds. A U.S. person must check a box on his or her personal income tax form and file an FBAR form if he or she has a financial interest in and/or has signature authority over foreign financial accounts with an aggregate value that exceeds US$10,000 at any time during the course of the calendar year. FinCEN defines “signature authority” as individuals’ ability to control, either by themselves or in conjunction with others, “the disposition of money, funds, or other assets held in a financial account by direct communication (whether in writing or otherwise) to the person with whom the financial account is maintained.”

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